Key Words In Your Will

Like any legal subject, Wills can be a bit of a maze of terminology and it can be very hard not to get lost in all the legal jargon. Just to help you find your way around the subject a little easier, here are some of the key words you might encounter.

Beneficiary: A person to whom something is left in your Will.


Bequest: A gift left to a person in your Will.


Codicil: A document which changes a Will that has already been prepared and authorised.


Estate: The total sum of your personal possessions, property and money minus anything you owed at the time of your death.


Executor(s): The person or people that are authorised to see that your final wishes as laid out in your will are carried out.


Guardian: The person who is responsible for children until they become 18.


Inheritance Tax: The 40% tax paid on the portion of your estate that is above the nil-rate threshold.


Intestate: The state of having died without leaving a Will.


Legacy: A gift or bequest left in your Will.


Probate: The legal document granting someone the authority to act as the Executor of a Will. Once obtained, the wishes expressed in the Will can be executed and bequests distributed.


Residue: What is left of your estate after any outstanding debts, taxes, monetary and specific bequests have been distributed to beneficiaries.


Testator: The person who has made a Will.


Trust: An arrangement where property is held by someone for the benefit of another.


Trustee(s): One or more people who manage a trust.

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